Author: Frank N. Wilner

A tutorial for new STB members

Watching Washington, May 2018: Railroads, as do all for-profit undertakings, earn their crust by selling at a price-multiple above production costs. Otherwise, they become revenue inadequate, meaning they lose investors, cease renewing assets, hollow out service and fail.

Michael Capuano

House Dems grill somnolent STB

Were there any doubt that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has been on siesta since the departure of former Chairman Dan Elliott in September, a House Rail Subcommittee oversight hearing April 17 confirmed the languor.

Rapid confirmation seen for STB nominees

Senior Senate legislative aide Patrick J. Fuchs and commuter railroad attorney Michelle A. Schultz, both Republicans, appeared April 11 before the Senate Commerce Committee as a first crucial step toward Senate confirmation to become members of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which administers remnants of what until 1980 was almost a century of pervasive railroad economic regulation.

Wilner

Labor lawyer Clint Miller: Requisat in pace

Clint Miller studied, recited and practiced railroad labor law with such determination, devotion and precision that his management adversaries often were converted to fans. Had cancer instead picked its fight with him in a courtroom, few would have expected his death last week at age 70.

Wilner

Rail grievance backlog haunts NMB

An essential task of the National Mediation Board (NMB), which administers the Railway Labor Act (RLA), is to resolve grievances of union-represented railroad employees relating to contract interpretation and workplace discipline.

Wilner

Watching Washington March 2018: Riding the brand at FRA

“Riding the brand”—a code of conduct exemplifying unbendable trustworthiness, integrity and commitment—is an expression as old as the Wild West, yet as contemporary as Federal Railroad Administrator Ron Batory. Nowhere is this code more needed than at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), lacking permanent leadership since January 2015 and suffering discord and an organizational brain-drain even longer.

Surface Transportation Board

Trump nominates two for STB

A Senate committee staffer and a lawyer for a commuter rail agency have been nominated to fill vacant seats at the Surface Transportation Board. Current Acting Chairman Ann Begeman is expected to be named permanent chairman.